White spots on teeth cause many people to be self-conscious about their smile. Of course, having white teeth is a sign of good oral hygiene and dental care. But white spots on teeth shouldn’t be ignored because they can sometimes be the first sign of tooth decay. However white blotches or patches under the tooth enamel that appear whiter aren’t always a sign that tooth decay is happening. The white spots could appear because of weak tooth enamel, a lack of calcium in the diet, consuming too many acidic foods, or a result of wearing braces.Show More
What Causes White Spots on Teeth
There are many factors that can cause white stains on your teeth. During the course of a day, the bacteria and pH levels in our mouths constantly change. Usually, saliva helps to naturally cleanse acids from the teeth and prevent a layer of plaque building up. Also, good oral hygiene practices help to remove plaque-causing bacteria.
Here are some of the main reasons why spots can appear under the enamel of your teeth.
Poor oral hygiene
Poor oral hygiene can cause demineralization in the tooth structure and lead to the appearance of white spots on teeth. The teeth are made up of many minerals and are protected by a hard layer of enamel. Poor dental hygiene can cause a buildup of bacteria in the mouth which causes acidic compounds to weaken tooth enamel.
Information in the International Journal of Nanomedicine said that a lack of regular teeth brushing can lead to acidic properties eroding the surface of the tooth. This can cause a change in the mineral content of the teeth and eventually cause areas in the teeth that appear whiter. This is a process called decalcification or demineralization.
Wearing braces can cause a buildup of plaque around the orthodontic bands and brackets which can lead to visible white blotches in the teeth. The white spots aren’t directly caused by the dental braces but because it is usually difficult to clean around the metal brackets.
A report in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry commented that white spots on the teeth are often seen when orthodontic braces are removed. These white lesions are usually a result of acidic and sugary content in the diet causing a buildup of plaque around the brace brackets.
Eating acidic foods
If you have a diet high in acidic foods, then you are at more risk of developing white spots under the hard enamel on your teeth. A buildup of acid in your oral cavity can cause the enamel to thin and cause decalcification in your teeth.
According to the International Journal of Nanomedicine, tooth demineralization that results in white spots is caused by the acidic content of food and drink. These acidic foods erode the enamel which protects the teeth.
The Journal of Conservative Dentistry explains that the white spots are due to bacteria causing calcium to leach out. If the lack of minerals isn’t replaced or addressed, then white patches will be visible in the teeth.
Consuming sugary drinks
It is a well-known fact that too much sugar and consuming sugary drinks are bad for your teeth. However, sugary drinks could be to blame for white patches on your teeth. Sugar also causes damage to the protective enamel on your teeth causing them to have a white stain-like appearance.
The Journal of Zhejiang Science reported that white spots are commonly seen in people who drink a lot of sugary drinks, including fruit juices and citrus juices. In these cases, the scientists reported that the white spots were connected with dental erosion caused by too much sugar.
Too much fluoride
A condition called fluorosis is when too much fluoride is ingested while teeth are still forming. Although many dentists say that fluoride is essential for healthy teeth, there are many recent scientific studies that have highlighted the dangers of fluoride in water.
Studies into the effects of fluoride on teeth, while they are developing, have shown that this chemical can have a negative impact on oral health. For example, the Journal of Applied Oral Science found that ingesting excessive amounts of fluoride can cause a child’s teeth to develop white discoloration.
Nutritional deficiencies can affect the health of your teeth and cause a condition called enamel hypoplasia. Brown to whitish patches under tooth enamel is often seen in cases of enamel hypoplasia.
For example, the journal Caries Research reported that nutritional deficiencies can cause the surface of the teeth to be less mineralized. Researchers found that these deficiencies affected enamel formation and white, yellow, or brownish spots developed.
Getting whiter teeth by bleaching can also cause whiter patches under the tooth enamel to appear. This happens because the bleaching agents affect the protective enamel layer on the teeth.
The Australian Dental Journal recommended that after bleaching teeth, you should use a remineralizing toothpaste to help build up the mineral content of your teeth and strengthen the enamel. This can help to repair any damage to the enamel and prevent white spots appearing on your teeth.
One side effect of celiac disease is the appearance of white spots under the tooth enamel. Celiac disease is an intolerance to gluten and can result in tissue damage due to malabsorption of essential nutrients in the body. This can cause enamel hypoplasia and other abnormalities in the tooth structure.
According to the College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario, celiac disease can cause tooth discoloration that results in yellow, brown, or white spots. It can also cause dry mouth syndrome, and the lack of saliva in the mouth can also contribute to the appearance of white patches on the teeth.
How to Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth Naturally
Looking after the health of your teeth and gums is one of the best ways to prevent and treat white spots on your teeth. However, just regular brushing may not be enough to remove the discoloration on your teeth.
Here are some ways to help remineralize your teeth to help gradually get rid of the white blotches that are affecting the look of your teeth.
Homemade remineralizing toothpaste
In cases where decalcification has caused white spots to appear in your teeth, many studies recommend using a toothpaste to remineralize your teeth. For example, the Australian Dental Journal (quoted earlier) recommended a remineralizing toothpaste to repair damaged enamel layers.
It is easy to make you own remineralizing toothpaste to help remove white patches from your teeth.
How to use:
The recipe for a homemade toothpaste is as follows:
You will need 5 teaspoons calcium powder and 3-5 teaspoons of virgin coconut oil.
Gradually mix the coconut oil with the calcium powder until you have a thick, fine paste.
Add a drop of food grade peppermint oil to give a fresh taste to the toothpaste.
Use a clean popsicle stick to apply the homemade toothpaste to your toothbrush.
Clean your teeth 2-3 times a day to help restore minerals to your teeth and get rid of the white tooth patches.
After brushing your teeth to remove the buildup of bacteria and remineralize your teeth, you can try out one of these mouthwashes to help keep your teeth clean – saline solution or baking soda mouthwash.
How to Prevent White Spots on Teeth
If you notice white spots appearing on your teeth, you should visit your dentist for a full checkup. White blotches under the enamel can indicate that there is the mineral loss from your teeth and this could be the first sign of tooth decay.
Avoid foods with a high acid or sugar content. This includes starches, sports drinks, sugar, and fruit juices.
Minimize mouth dryness as much as possible. Saliva is important to keep the pH levels in your mouth balanced and kill off bacteria.
Keep up with regular dental hygiene care. This includes regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist.